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Hordle Parish Council reveal grave concerns over 156 homes plan near primary school

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PARISH councillors are opposing plans to build 156 new homes near Hordle Primary School, raising concerns about "overdevelopment" and road safety.

The scheme includes 78 affordable properties, allotments and public recreation space on fields west of Hordle Lane, with 354 parking spaces.

Following discussions with New Forest District Council, which will make the final decision, developer Bargate Homes scaled back the dwellings from an original number of up to 174.

The development is proposed on fields to the west of Hordle Lane
The development is proposed on fields to the west of Hordle Lane

However, the changes were not enough to convince Hordle Parish Council to endorse the scheme, with members voting unanimously to recommend that permission should be refused.

The public meeting was attended by 45 villagers and the application debated for around two-and-a-half hours.

Hordle parish clerk Sarah Pitt said: “Everyone spoke passionately but respectfully. The comments made during the meeting really reflected the objections – around 135 – that had been made against the scheme.

“People were worried about the housing density and the pressure that will create for local roads and amenities such as the school.”

As reported in the A&T, the site is allocated for development in NFDC’s Local Plan, a keystone document which sets out sites for housing outside the national park up to 2036.

The developer has said the design would give a "sense of place" and "reflect local distinctiveness", as well as providing much-needed affordable homes.

Although Hordle Parish Council cannot block planning permission for the application, its recommendation of refusal means that if planning officers support the plans, it must go before NFDC's planning committee rather than being determined by council staff.

Parish concluded that although it welcomed the level of affordable housing, grave concerns remained about the impact on neighbouring properties, in respect of light, visual intrusion and privacy.

The draft plans from Bargate Homes
The draft plans from Bargate Homes

There were also worries about the safety of proposed footpaths, the location of a playground, the density of the development, the impact on wildlife, the lack of nearby facilities and the impact on road safety.

Ms Pitt continued: “The parish council is concerned that the density of the development in proximity to Heather Court and Fountain Court to the north and Nursery Close to the east will have a detrimental effect on these properties.

"The proposed properties are very close to the boundary of these houses which would be a visual intrusion and they would also lose privacy and light.”

Concerns were also raised that the development would be “uncoordinated” and “piecemeal” because part of the site is owned by another developer, Pennyfarthing Homes, which will draw up its own scheme.

Ms Pitt said the parish council was also very concerned that the proposed use of greenbelt land to provide recreational green space outside the defined site was enabling a higher density build.

The development would deliver a mix of one and two-bedroom flats, and two, three and four-bedroom houses.

NFDC is expected to make a decision by 10th August.

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